Review | I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga

Wow. 5/5 stars.

I Hunt Killers Jasper Dent 1 by Barry Lyga

The blurb: What if the world’s worst serial killer…was your dad?

Jasper “Jazz” Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal’s point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

My take:

This review will be spoiler free.

First, I must say a big thank you to Yvo, Ashley and Maren for recommending this series 🙂 You were right!

I made the mistake of starting this book at 10.30 p.m. I was still reading it at 1.40 a.m. and I put it down very, very reluctantly. I’d finished it by lunchtime the next day. It’s that good.

Right from the first page you feel you’re sitting on Jasper “Jazz” Dent’s shoulder. Sometimes that’s downright unsettling, but mostly it’s nail-biting “can we get to the next victim before they die?” stuff. I had to resist the urge to flick forward to find out what would happen because at times it was just too tense.

As a main character, Jazz is great. His girlfriend, Connie, and best friend, Howie, are wonderful secondary characters. I particularly like Howie: a haemophiliac with a wicked sense of humour. I also developed a soft spot for the town sheriff, poor guy.

The mystery is well done. Enough plausible suspects to keep you guessing right to the end. And even though I now know who did it, I’m still not convinced the other guys are innocent!

This is categorized as YA, and Jasper’s age (he’s 17) does explain the one slight quibble I have with the book: his internal stressing about whether he’s destined to become like his Dad goes on a bit too much, particularly in the second half of the book. We get it, he’s traumatised. It’s completely understandable and I feel for him. But when we’ve already had a few chapters which are mostly just him dwelling, I think we could reduce the dwelling down to the occasional paragraph, right?

But YA does not equal sanitised. Oh dear no. This is a book about serial killers and it doesn’t shy away from telling you about the very nasty ways they killed/kill their victims. It’s mostly reported second-hand, and there’s no gratuitous violence, but if this whole topic is something you don’t want to go near then this isn’t the book for you. It’s downright creepy in places too… *shudders*.

Overall: This is a story about serial killers and so, obviously, is rather nasty in places. If that doesn’t put you off then I would urge you to read this book. Just don’t start it late at night if you have to get up early in the morning.

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

17 thoughts on “Review | I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga

  1. I just got a job so my reading time has been reduced to its lowest since I recovered from my big 3-year reading slump, and all I want to do is go to bed with a mug of tea and this book.
    I can’t explain it but every time I read YA, I tend to back off a bit. It’s crazy and I’ve been proved wrong several times but I’m always a bit wary. Still, this one sounds like an awesome piece of serial killer cake.

    Liked by 1 person

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